NFPA Awards DiNenno Prize to the Creators of VESDA

Samir Jain by Samir Jain | 06.08.2017

During this week’s National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference & Expo in Boston, the NFPA awarded this year’s Philip J. DiNenno prize to the original inventors of Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA), Dr. Martin Cole, John Petersen and David Packham. NFPA also commended deceased co-inventor and passionate advocate Len Gibson. VESDA technology samples the air at multiple points throughout buildings for smoke particles, providing the earliest possible warning of fire hazards.

It’s moments like these when I realize how blessed I am to work in an industry that shares the common goal of saving lives and protecting against the loss of property for customers worldwide. When I first joined Honeywell a number of years ago, I quickly realized that every employee understood our shared mission: simply put, “We save lives.” Everyone I work with today takes that responsibility very seriously, all of our product development and manufacturing efforts are driven by our goal to extend and improve on that mission – to protect people and property through early and reliable detection.

NFPA’s Michael Hazell put it well in his blog post announcing the award: “The VESDA innovation transformed the fire detection and alarm industry and inspired a whole new aspirated smoke detection area of technology. The installation of VESDA in telecommunication facilities, telephone exchanges, data centers, high technology manufacturing, industrial control rooms and other related facilities has had a significant impact on asset protection and business continuity. In addition, the very early smoke detection by VESDA provides life safety protection for employees working in these buildings.” Continued technological advances in VESDA is enabling Honeywell, which acquired Xtralis in 2016, to bring these technologies to an increasing array of customers.

Here are a few of the advances in VESDA in recent times:

  • This week’s introduction of the next generation VESDA-E VEP range re-defined the ASD technology and set a new standard in the industry for very early, reliable and cost-effective smoke detection. VEP takes over the reins from VESDA VLP and continues the VESDA journey into every day applications.
  • The VESDA-E VEU created an unprecedented product positioning in the industry, providing up to 15 times higher sensitivity than the industry benchmark VESDA VLP, and increasing the coverage by up to 40% in high airflow environments.
  • And VESDA-E VEA has taken the ASD concept to a whole new level by being able to pinpoint the exact location of a fire incident for up to 120 locations. VEA paves the way for a wider ASD deployment into mainstream applications such offices, education, hospitals, correctional facilities and sporting arenas that would otherwise be protected by conventional spot detection technologies.

I’d like to thank Martin, John, David and Len for their early efforts on inventing VESDA. It’s now our job to continue the development of this and other technologies to better our industry.

This post was originally published by Samir Jain on LinkedIn.